Not quite the white Apocalypse I expected this morning, but I digress; you can hang out inside or go out in it in this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
OK, I am a weather geek and was hoping for a milder recap of the Blizzard of 2011 last night, say something like this YouTube video.
That defines the winter of 2010/11. I was hoping for a smaller version of that. Instead, we get a pittance of snow last night. We have a few mellow inches (less if you live north).
All that leads to a note that conditions vary widely across the area, both on the ice and with the snow cover.
Some spots have plenty of ice, enough to last another week or two. Other spots are inaccessible. In other words, use caution and know what you doing if ice fishing. This is the time for the hardcores.
Everybody else should be putting new fishing line on and dreaming about Braidwood reopening on Tuesday or coho coming in on the Chicago lakefront.
OPEN-WATER FISHING: Braidwood, the cooling lake south of Joliet, reopens to fishing on Tuesday. For many of us, this will be the first open-water fishing of year. I have not heard water temperatures yet. If I get them, I will post separately. . . . Rivers are open, but they are high and dirty. I suspect one or two hardcores will be out this weekend giving it a try any way. . . . Powerton Lake, the cooling lake outside of Pekin, is open with fair reports. . . . Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said Lake Shelbyville opened up and ramps look open. He also said Sangchris remains good for crappie.
ICE FISHING EVENT: Staff at Hermann's--(847) 639-9644--said their ice fishing derby on Nielsen's Channel off the Fox River at Port Barrington is a go for Sunday.
PERCH FISHING: Weather and northeast winds have slowed down what had been an outstanding bite.
SHED HUNTING: Experienced shed hunters are starting to find them. One veteran put the number of bucks that have dropped around the area at about 35 percent. Don't know if we will get enough snow between today and tomorrow to halt it or not for a couple days.
SHOWTIME: The Chicago Maritime Festival is at the Chicago History Museum (Clark and North) on Saturday. If you like quirky outdoors or waterfront events, this is your event. Click here for info. . . . The Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Spring Fever Outdoor Show is this weekend at the Expo Center in Valparaiso, Ind. Click here for info. . . . The Spring Fishing Classic is at Bass Pro Shops begins today. Click here.
ILLINOIS HUNTING: Crow hunting ends Monday. . . . On Tuesday, youth spring turkey county permits become available over the counter.
MAPLE SYRUP: We are in the middle of the stretch where many nature centers or park districts hold events around maple syrup gathering. As a dad, I highly recommend it for families.
SNOWSHOEING: By tomorrow, conditions may be possible for snowshoeing. If so, L.L.Bean's Walk-On Adventures includes snowshoeing on Saturday and Sundays this month at both the Skokie--(847) 568-3600--and South Barrington--(888) 552-5548--stores.
PERSONAL PICKS: I will be at Braidwood Tuesday. (Yes, I am aware that Tuesday stretches the definition of weekend.) . . . I had promised the kids we would go sledding today. But that was back when I was sure they would have off today. We did not get anywhere near the amount of snow originally called for and they have school. . . . Haven't decided if weather conditions or family stuff will allow me to hit none, one or both outdoor shows this weekend. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).